Money People Technology

An Appleless future

It is time to buy new computers.

My desktop Windows computer is a 4+ year old Dell laptop with a burnt out LCD that I hook up to an external monitor. It’s running Windows XP, and could potentially be upgraded to Windows 7, but only with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

My laptop is the last of the PowerPC PowerBooks running Leopard, since Snow Leopard only runs on the Intel machines. I’ve had to replace the Airport card, and the hard drive, but both were covered under warranty. The keyboard is starting to get mushy, but still works. The real problem is the growing lack of support for the old PowerPC architecture.

If July royalties go well, then I’ll look at replacing at least one, possibly both. When I do, though, I won’t be replacing either with an Apple computer.

Why an Apple-free future? One reason is cost: I can replace both my desktop and laptop with good, relatively powerful Windows machines for the cost of one 13 inch Macbook Pro. The days of having money to burn for “sexy” machines are over—now I want solid machines with good software support that are competitively priced.

Another reason to move from Mac back to Windows is I don’t need a Mac. All of the applications I use have a Windows-based version. I stopped using MacPorts a while back when I got tired of the continuous round of upgrades. I don’t run a web server on my home machines anymore, doing all my development out at my web site. Besides, you can run a web server on a Windows machine as easily as a Mac.

Ease of use isn’t an issue for me, as I’m comfortable with both environments. I haven’t tried Windows 7 but whatever quirks it has, I’ll learn and adapt. I used to be able to work with DOS and the old VAX/VMS—I can handle a new operating system.

Security used to be a big reason to stay with the Mac, but nowadays Apple is as much of a target as Windows. Besides, most security problems arise because of applications, and cross OS boundaries. Relying on using a lesser used OS to protect you from problems isn’t an effective approach: a secure system is 95% common sense, 5% other. So, save some money and use common sense.

My Photoshop installation is CS3 on the Mac, but supposedly I can cross-grade my license, and swap it for a Windows license. If I have spare change from buying a new machine (i.e., you all buy more of my books) I’ll upgrade to CS5, and cross-grade the license to Windows. If Adobe doesn’t let me port my license to Windows, well, then it’s time to move all of my graphics work to GIMP. Besides, I primarily like Photoshop because I like Adobe Bridge for editing metadata and viewing my images. There are alternatives.

A last reason for not staying with Apple is I’m tired of the company. I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of seeing people in line, waiting for a phone. I’m weary of the Apple cult, Apple lawsuits, Apple prototypes, Apple mystic, and stark black and white.

I am no longer enamored of devices where form takes precedence over function. What other manufacturer could get away with providing devices where you can’t replace the batteries?

Worse is the lock-in. If you want to develop for the iPhone or iPad, you have to own a new Macbook Pro just to use the relevant SDK, and then you have to purchase the SDK. It also peeves me to see people buying into what is nothing more than a horrifically closed, obsessively controlled environment. You have to use the Apple code, develop to the Apple model, think the Apple mindset, which embraces puritanical censorship and nowadays lacks both perspective, and sense of humor.

The Steve Jobs of yesteryear was arrogant, but innovative. The Steve Jobs of today is just plain arrogant. I don’t want to give him my money.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email